Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️
Nothing makes me happier than a new story, a new angle to Dylan Allen’s Rivers Wilde world. Her newest story, The Mastermind, introduces us to Omar, a recent transplant to the Houston area and a former footballer turned businessman intent on changing the local landscape with his investments. When the trauma and grief of his past send him back to England where he played football, he meets the gorgeous, independent, ambitious Jules, a local barrister in training. They connect at a mutual friends’ birthday party, but they had observed each other from afar at the local pub where Jules works part-time. Emboldened, Jules flirts with Omar who tries to keep her at a distance, but he is completely attracted to her, and his will breaks. Over the course of several weeks, these two fall deeply into love and lust, and fairly quickly, Jules moves into Omar’s home. Believing that their happily ever after is nigh, the ghosts of Jules past come to haunt her. When Omar finds out, will he still want her? Will Omar finally face his own family and return to Rivers Wilde to make amends? Will Jules and Omar ever find their happy ending?
The Mastermind is a multi-layered scintillating romance. As she does so beautifully, Allen crafts two characters with trauma as their foundation who need each other to mend those hurts. Omar and Jules are beautifully constructed from the start. They fall madly in love with each other. Their love is never really questioned throughout this story. Instead, another hallmark of Allen’s romances, steam, burns the pages between these two. There is a moment when you wonder if they can overcome their pasts, but Allen hardly makes her readers wait in reconciling them. Instead, she treats her readers to the development of more facets of her Rivers Wilde world. For me, beyond adoring Omar’s complete adoration of Jules and loving her strong womanhood, the most exciting part of The Mastermind is the introduction of new characters into this world. When Allen published The Daredevil, I was worried that we would have to leave this universe. However, this new book promises so much more. Two words: Noah. Royale.
If you’ve loved Dylan Allen’s Rivers Wilde world, then you will want The Mastermind. It’s clear that she has more planned for those of us who adore her characters and their stories in this universe. Even more, if you’re a fan of a hero who is seemingly a player, but falls madly for his heroine, and a heroine who has the strength of character to endure the challenges of life only to be loved fiercely through its unraveling, then you MUST read Allen’s newest book.
In love and romance,